Addiction and Suicide: How Substance Abuse and Suicide Relate

Addiction and suicide are all too often synonymous with one another. Research cites that individuals who struggle with addiction are six times more likely to commit suicide. Doubling down on that data, it’s confirmed addiction to be the second leading cause of suicide, second only to depression. The same study finds that one-third of suicides occurred while under the influence. Thus addiction and suicide magnify one another in a dangerous way.

Individuals suffering from addiction will use drugs or alcohol under the pretense of feeling better or escaping reality. However, the facts presented speak volumes of the fact that it only worsens their current reality. Understanding the link between addiction and suicide can open your eyes to the opportunity of a happier life without your addictive strongholds.

What is Suicide?

Suicide is simply one’s choice to end their own life. Many factors play into this sad and fateful decision to end one’s life. Always reach out to a loved one for another option before even considering this final fate.

Suicide should never be seen or considered as the answer. Performing this dismal act will leave your friends and family bearing the burden of that decision. Life has so much more to offer past the struggles someone may be going through at the moment. You can find professional help that will guide you through overwhelming emotions.

What Drives People to Suicide?

Numerous psychological, emotional, and physical factors ultimately contribute to one’s decision to end their own life. None of them are rational reasons for suicide. However, to the bearer, the following burdens may seem like the only way out. 

Any one of these listed struggles could cause irrational thoughts of suicide to seem like a plausible alternative. If you or anybody you know struggles with the issues listed below, immediate help is crucial for their safety. There is suicide rehabilitation available geared to remove those tendencies permanently from your mind.

Substance Use Disorder and How it Relates to Suicide

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds that 22 percent of suicides are related to alcohol abuse. In addition, the same study cites an additional 20 percent of suicides included opiates, heroin, and prescription drugs. Collectively that attributes to a startling 42 percent of all suicides being caused by way of substance abuse. This substantiates the idea that an individual is rarely in the correct frame of mind when contemplating suicide. 

Not to say that all suicides are a result of substance abuse. But, this truth is why it makes sense that nearly half of suicides are committed under the influence. Again, this is why suicide often follows a pattern of substance use disorder. Many people believe their altered state of mind gives them a clearer mindset when the opposite is true. It cannot be stressed enough that substance abuse and suicide are commonly related.

Research confirms that substance abuse increases suicidal tendencies by up to 10 times greater. On the other hand, Sobriety decreases depression symptoms, providing more clarity of thought in your decision-making. Don’t allow the grip of substance abuse to hold you and your thoughts hostage. Free your mind by removing the addictive substance that overclouds your better judgment.

How Loneliness Can Fuel Suicidal Tendencies

Loneliness or simply the feeling of being alone can prove to be overwhelming, especially for someone struggling with addiction. With nobody to support you in your thought process, your mind can be the most dangerous place to dwell.

Loneliness doesn’t necessarily mean you’re alone, but rather the emotion of feeling alone. Someone suffering from loneliness can be surrounded by large crowds and still feel alone. The feeling of nobody being able to relate or understand you is a depressing thought to many. This is why many loved ones don’t realize a family member is struggling with suicidal tendencies until it’s too late.

Learn the warning signs for yourself or someone in your family who may be feeling lonely. Notice anyone who tends to withdraw from the crowd or keep to themselves more often than they should. Engage with them and don’t allow them to go overlooked.

Stress and How it Relates to Suicide

Stress is among the primary motivators of suicide. Stress is defined by as ‘feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure.’ 

The truth of any form of pressure is it continues to build. Without any vent or release, stress erupts like a volcano, unable to contain the pressure that boils to the surface. This can feel as equally devastating as volcanic aftermath, claiming the life of the one unable to cope.

Most times, those who struggle with stress don’t have or do not allow a support figure in their life. Yet, it is in such strenuous times where support is even more vital. Don’t allow pride to keep you from getting the help you need to cope with such stresses. Stress, addiction, and suicide occur in succession far too frequently and always exacerbate one another. 

Feelings of Regret

Addictions, among other emotional and psychological strains, leave a trail of regret in their wake. Regret, like stress, tends to induce a domino effect that concludes with the individual feeling that there is no way to rectify the pain. These deep, shameful emotions can lead to an individual believing suicide is their only option.

This chain of emotions begins with feelings of regret. Regret can then lead to substance abuse, which leads to more shame, which leads to suicide.

You may not be able to change your past. However, you can use the heartaches of your past to fuel a change in your current and future circumstances. It is also important to note that many suffer regret from circumstances of which they are not at fault. The help you require will guide you on the important road to self-acceptance. At professional treatment centers, you can learn more about the link between substance abuse and suicide. Counselors will work with you to overcome feelings of shame and regret and find forgiveness. Suicide is never the answer.

Depression and Other Mental Conditions

Depression is a medically diagnosed mental condition that is the leading cause of suicide. Having a diagnosed mental condition automatically increases your chances of suicidal tendencies. Sadly, over 60% who battle mental illness don’t receive the professional help they need. Furthermore, research states that 66% of all suicides occur in individuals who also battle depression.

To make matters worse, most of those who suffer from depression or other mental illnesses also suffer from substance abuse. To put it in perspective, 9 million people who have a mental health disorder also struggle with addiction. Addiction fuels depression and other mental health symptoms. Mental health, addictions, and suicides should be taken equally seriously as they all can fuel suicidal tendencies.  Access Health studies find that 21,300 individuals commit suicide by weapon use every year. That’s 66% more than murders committed by gun use.

What are the Warning Signs of Suicidal Thoughts?

The warning signs of suicide can be seen in a person’s words, actions, and mood leading up to the act. Though a person will rarely speak outright about such thoughts, traces of these thoughts are displayed in their actions. It is crucial to have a general awareness and understanding to spot these warning signs. Noticing these signs and taking the necessary action to get help will save a person’s life.

Excessive Alcohol or Drug Use

If you or somebody you know has shown signs of substance abuse, it may be an indication of a deeper and darker issue. Anybody with an alcohol or drug problem is a ticking time bomb. In the case of substance abuse and suicide, the first often leads to the latter. Any struggles with controlled substances require immediate professional help before the addiction, and suicidal tendencies worsen. 

Withdrawn Personality

A key factor to look out for is if someone is isolating themselves from the rest of the crowd. People understandably enjoy their personal time and space. However, consistently isolating oneself from the company of others is a red flag to each out to them.

Many symptoms of depression are exhibited in the form of reclusiveness. This self-isolated form of loneliness is dangerous and often is a silent scream for support. Usually, the person withdrawing either doesn’t know how to connect with others or doesn’t realize they are detaching themselves. This is the most important time to reach out and often indicates a need for professional help.

Extreme Irritability or Mood Swings

Mood swings and irritability, especially in response to minor issues, are a red flag of deeper emotional problems. Physical and mental pressure often presents itself in the form of a shorter fuse. These external expressions of irritability are often an internal cry for help. The proverb ‘a soft answer turneth away wrath’ would ring true in these circumstances. 

In other words, the last thing that would resolve extreme irritability is an angry rebuttal. Most mood swings and irritable expressions find more resolve through a compassionate reply. Understanding that such irritability is a silent cry for help can help you be more sympathetic. If you or someone you know is expressing such irritability, don’t hesitate to get the help you need.

The Crucial Conclusion

With the unmistakable correlation between substance abuse and suicide, professional help is the only solution to either. The very fact that you are reading this article should tell you that either you or someone you love is in dire need of help. 

At Grace Land Recovery, we understand how important it is to find support that understands you. Don’t let addictions control your mind. Graceland Recovery is sure to show you the joys that life has to provide by freeing your mind. Get freedom from addiction and suicidal thoughts today! We have addiction treatment specialists standing by.